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 Post subject: A better solo yoke?
PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 6:07 pm 
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I won't be installing wooden gunwales until sometime in the spring and since this idea for a yoke requires a custom "snug fit," I can't try building it until then. The objective is a yoke that is very quick and easy to put-on and won't ever slide off.

1. The yoke will have "ears" that hold the outside of the gunwales, preventing it from slipping sideways. The ears will also be just wide enough that they stop the yoke from rotating and force it to remain perpendicular to the length of the canoe. So the only adjustment you'll be able to make is to position it fore or aft, so it's on the balance point of the canoe.

2. Instead of thumb screws, the yoke will use cam-levers with a piece of metal underneath that will act as a sliding clamp. Lee Valley sells ones for $5 each that have 400 lbs. of clamping pressure, which seems more than enough.

The advantage over screws is the cam lever is pre-adjusted, you just snap it open or shut. In order to keep it from loosening, I'm thinking a nylock nut, maybe also with a locking nut, or I could drill the end of the bolt shaft and safety wire it. Suggestions are welcomed.

I think it'd save time to make a mockup just using a hunk of wood to get everything right before messing up a yoke.

I am certainly no engineer (!!) and these are just doodles, so I was hoping all of you could provide some more experienced opinions.

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 Post subject: removable yoke
PostPosted: December 31st, 2006, 10:04 pm 
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Location: Auburn, Ontario Canada
Looks good but I don't think it will hold. With all the pounding on a portage I think it will work it's way loose. I use the same clamps on my router table and they come loose!
I use the system that Martin Step has on his web site. Works great!!!!!!!
http://www.greenval.com/FAQsolo-yoke.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 7:12 am 
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The temptation to builld a fancy yoke is strong but before building one you might want to consider its value carefully.

If you plan on tripping where you will do a lot of portaging the yoke is just one more thing to carry. Worst of all, when properly balanced, they sometimes have to be located in a place where the seat will interfere with your head. Also, if you travel where there are hills to carry over the yoke makes it more difficult to adjust the fore and aft trim of the boat when carrying. Finally, if you carry everything in one go (which many solo paddlers do) the yoke rarely fits properly over pack straps etc.

This is one of those areas where tradition pays off. Using your paddles for a yoke saves weight and can make portaging a little less of a pain. You have to carry the paddles anyway.

The most common system is to put a loop for the blades on the thwart just aft of the seat and then tie them to the thwart in front of the seat.

Not very high tech and certainly not as glamourous but a time proven method that works.

Of course, if you just enjoy the woodworking, go for it. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 10:12 am 
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Joined: January 17th, 2005, 8:46 pm
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Location: Buena Vista, Virginia
I think your idea has a great deal of merit. It appears to me the yoke can be moved to portage location then when back on the water moved forward or back and clamped in place to replace a thwart. Thus reducing the weight of the canoe while having a comfortable portage yoke readily at hand. I can understand the clamps working loose on a high speed vibrating table, but it appears to me they should be more than adequate on a low speed portage trail. If additional stops are needed simply placing a screw fore or aft of each wing will keep the clamped yoke from sliding fore or aft.

Your sketches are quite clear enough to build from. thank you for posting them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 10:28 am 
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Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
I just wish somebody would invent a yoke that fits properly on my shoulders.

I throw the canoe up on my shoulders and all is good. After about 100 meters my muscles begin to engorge with blood as they are worked. No the part that goes around neck is digging into the shoulder muscles.

I have no problem carrying the weight of the canoe it is the pain caused by the yoke that I find limiting.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 11:40 am 
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Location: Brantford, Ontario
has anyone tried putting a very thin foam layer on the yolk, maybe made out of the same dense material as kneeling pads but less than a 1/4 inch thick? It seems to me this would help and not change the shape of the yoke. My biggest pain is the back of my neck and altho my langford yolk is notched, it is too small to do any good and the wood bumps my neck, with or without a pack or pfd on. I am hesitant to glue anything on mine unless i know it is likely to help.
BTW Jwinters, our dad used to carry a very heavy cedarstrip with the paddles as you described. Seemed ok if you don't mind the oval indents in your shoulders.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 12:14 pm 
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Location: Buena Vista, Virginia
http://madrivercanoe.com/Accessories/outfitting.php

scroll down this link to the Superior Yoke Pad.

It is shaped minicell that glues to your yoke. It is shaped in such a way as to remove all contact from the back of your neck, and the deep dish enables climbing or descending hills without the yoke slipping fore or aft on your shoulders. to improve the fit you can hollow out the area where that protruding bone on your shoulder is which takes pressure off the bone and spreads it to the heavy muscles surrounding it.

(Same thing with foam knee pads, by the way. Hollowing them out takes pressure off the burser bone in the front of your knee, that's the part that swells and feels like a bone spur sometimes.)

The only disadvantage I've found to the Superior Yoke is that in boat over boat rescue it catches on the rescue boat rim and has to be lifted over, not an everyday occurance, of course, but one to be aware of.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 1:14 pm 
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thanks AndyLee - looks perfect. I'll call a local dealer and see if they have them in stock.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 3:21 pm 
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Sometimes a little thing like wearing your PFD alters the fit of a yoke immensely.

I cant stand the pressure of the yoke without my PFD and its fine for 3 k when on.

Others swear by no yoke at all. Just a portage thwart. This allows you to slide the weight to different muscle points so you get relief from pressure. There isnt much sliding room for solos but for tandem this works well, perhaps with a roll of pipe insulation around the thwart.

Robert's idea might work for portages. I made a portage yoke for my freestyle tandem. Its easier to carry down the block with a yoke, though we have not used the boat on portage trips yet. Similar set up but using a nut, screw combination with a wood knob. There isnt any metal used.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 3:36 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I just drilled holes in the gunwales of my osprey and used one wing nut and bolt on each side. Put it in place each time I have a major portage. Takes less time than lashing the paddles in. I have portaged using yokes, paddles and just a straight bar......it's all a matter of how much suffering you are willing to tolerate. For me, the balance of the canoe is more important than the thing digging in to me. I like to be able to take both hands off and have the canoe balance level....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 3:49 pm 
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rob - ya that's perfect eh? i keep my bow rope in hand and can slightly tip the canoe back and just hold the rope to my belt area (when things are in balance and the trail is soso flat). beats holding your arms up all the time. The pfd is good for my shoulders but the yoke does slip then. How much pain? I get enough on other body parts trippin so try to spare my shoulders as much as i can. I'll stop posting these hijack comments now -on with the technical yoke chat!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 3:52 pm 
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I wonder what more experienced people think of this method.

http://members.porchlight.ca/aferg/home_htpac.html#top

I havent tried it (did it the old fashioned way using a wooden yolk that dug into my shoulders ) but it seems to be a good idea.

Maybe something to consider this year when i get my own canoe :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 4:01 pm 
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I forgot about that link. I saw it a few years ago and looked and looked for a canoe outfitted like this so I could try it out but no luck.

I would be willing to try it out for sure, but I am not ready to alter my canoe until I was sure this is what I wanted to do.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 4:11 pm 
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Location: Strongsville, Ohio USA
AndyLee wrote:
http://madrivercanoe.com/Accessories/outfitting.php

scroll down this link to the Superior Yoke Pad.

It is shaped minicell that glues to your yoke. It is shaped in such a way as to remove all contact from the back of your neck, and the deep dish enables climbing or descending hills without the yoke slipping fore or aft on your shoulders.
Algonquin Outfitters tested these several years ago and our group liked them but the next year it seemed they were not in sight.

I've dropped back to using a pack towel under my tee shirt and a velcroed on pad courtesy of AO.

Best situation is when you have young showoffs along with you and they egg each other on in a portage contest. My shoulders always feel great when that happens!

-Jester

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 1st, 2007, 4:42 pm 
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Lady Di wrote:
I wonder what more experienced people think of this method.

http://members.porchlight.ca/aferg/home_htpac.html#top

I havent tried it (did it the old fashioned way using a wooden yolk that dug into my shoulders ) but it seems to be a good idea.

Maybe something to consider this year when i get my own canoe :D


Sounds like it was written by the canoe police.

They dont seem much open to the variety of methods possible. Sometimes sculpted yokes work sometimes wrapped yokes, sometimes no yokes, sometimes paddle yokes. sometimes one piece things with saw outs for the neck from pvc pipe (large diam). There are lots of possibilities. To write off any because it doesnt work for them in the Algonquin enviroment is a bit of ego.

O whoopee the old bow line thing. They didnt invent it; It really does work but I I find its best if you extend it to the stern and in the middle have a releasable buckle. That way you dont hang your self and you never really need to hold onto your boat except perhaps if you are going side to side and bouncing over a creek bed. Its very relaxing being able to trim your boat up or down without having to keep your arms above your heart.

I do agree that for lots of tripping, the two person portage is an abomination. It does work OK on logging roads for heavy canoes. I dont think the voyageurs portaged alone though I cant recall any illustrations right now.


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